VM376, VM476, VM632 - Using Sourcebook Projects on Campus


This guide will walk you through how to properly source and create an AVID project via Isilon and Sourcebook. The workflow outlined in this guide is in line with the exact steps you should be taught in VM-376 by your professor. This guide specifies how to mount Sourcebook and your Student Drive on Isilon, set up a new project with the correct specifications in AVID, save a project to the Shared Avid Projects folder, and backup a project after every session.

Getting Started

AVID can be a tricky program to get the hang of because it is quite particular about the order in which things are done. Be sure to pay attention to the order of the following steps and ensure that you are following them in the correct sequence. If not, you may run into trouble. File management is also very important. Staying organized with your files will save you from heartbreak in the long run!

Part I: Setting Up Your Project

Connecting to Isilon

    • After logging in to the computer,  open a finder window and hit CMD + K to bring up the server connection window.
    • You need to mount the two following drives:
      • Students (your personal space): smb://bin.emerson.edu/students
      • Sourcebook: smb://bin.emerson.edu/courses/editing courses/sourcebook
    • Click on one, then once you select ‘Connect’, you may be prompted to enter your emerson username (firstname_lastname) and password. Repeat the process for the second drive.
    • You need these two drives for the following things:
      • Students Drive: This is your Personal Drive. You need this drive mounted in order to to back up project at the end of your work session
      • Sourcebook:  This is where you can initially locate all AVID project resources that you will need for class.



Finding your Project on Sourcebook

  • Open the Sourcebook drive off of your Desktop.


  • On the drive, refer to the ‘Sourcebook Index.xls’ file. This file is an index of all of the various AVID projects we have stored on Sourcebook. This document lists all of the essential information for each project, including the MXF folder, Title, Format, Aspect Ratio, Description, TRT, Project reference info, and Copyright information. You will need this information in order to create your new AVID project, so keep this file open for the moment.


  • Next, refer to the folder entitled ‘EDITOR’S SOURCEBOOK’. In this folder, locate the project you are looking for. Once located, keep this finder window open- you will need it shortly.

Creating your project in AVID

  • Now that your have the appropriate information about your project, open AVID by clicking the AVID Media Composer icon in the Dock.


  • The project window will open. Ensure that you select the button labelled ‘SHARED’. This is determining where you are saving your project file. Now select ‘New Project’.


  • In the next window, title your project. Then, refer back to the ‘Sourcebook Index’ file. Refer to the relevant ‘Format’ and ‘Ratio’ specifications for your desired project. Select the exact same specifications in AVID and press ‘OK’.


  • This will take you back to the Project window. On the left side, make sure your project is selected. Double check that you are saving under ‘shared.’ Your Project window should look like this:


  • If so, press ‘OK’ and your new project will open. Once the project has opened, press CMD + S to save. Now press CMD + H to hide Avid momentarily.
  • NOTE: Some students prefer to save to an external drive rather than the Shared Avid Projects folder. We do NOT suggest this, as working from an external drive often leads to cryptic error messages. We suggest saving to Shared and backing up to an external source after you have finished editing for the day.

Locating the Shared Avid Projects folder

  • Now that you’ve saved your project file to the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder, you can find it on the desktop. On every computer Desktop in the DPL labs and suites, there is a shortcut folder entitled ‘Shared Avid Projects’. Locate this folder on your desktop and open it. (note: if this folder is not present, have a lab assistant help you locate it)


  • Inside you should see a sub-folder labelled with whatever your called your new project. If you’re having trouble finding your folder, click the ‘Date Modified’ tab, and your project should jump to the top as it was the last project modified.


  • If you cannot find your folder, retrace your steps and make sure that you selected the ‘Shared’ button when your created your new AVID project.
  • Select your folder. This is your new AVID project folder. In this folder there will be a range of files and folders that have been automatically created. Do not mess with any of these items. AVID is very particular with its file structures so it is important that you do not rename or move any of this files or folders.


Copying bins to your Project folder

  • AVID has a unique file sharing system. Unlike other NLE’s, footage and sequences can be shared via ‘Bins’. Now that you have your AVID project file, you need to grab your own copy of the footage for your chosen project.
  • To do this, head back to Sourcebook to where you previously located your chosen project’s folder. Open said folder. Inside you should see the following (or something similar):


  • In a lot of cases, there will be a folder labelled ‘[PROJECT TITLE] BINS’. Select this folder, and inside you will find one or more '.abv' files like this:


  • Select these .abv bins, right click, and then select ‘Copy’ (just the bins, not the folder itself).


  • Now, head back to the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder and click back into your own personal project folder within.
  • In your AVID project folder, right-click in empty space, and select ‘Paste’.


  • Open Avid. You will now have the appropriate footage for your project. Now, within your project the bins you copied should appear.


Things to Note:

  • Make sure you that you ‘Copy’ the project bins into your project folder. Do not ‘Cut’ or simply work from the Sourcebook folder as this will affect everyone else trying to access these bins.
  • Be sure not to copy the Bins into a sub-folder of your AVID project folder. If you do this by accident, they will not open in your project.

Assigning the Media Creation folder

  • Before you start editing, you must first check the setting of your Media Creation folder. This is because you do not have the correct permissions to write new files to Sourcebook, which it is sometimes automatically routed to.
  • To do so, select the ‘Settings’ tab from the following window:


  • Scroll down and select ‘Media Creation’.
  • The following window will open. Select the ‘Capture’ tab. Below you will see the drop down window that assigns the Video and Audio drives. Select the drop down window, and ensure that it is set to ‘Students’. Then press “apply to all” and ‘OK’.


Part II: Saving and Backing Up Your Project

Saving Your Project

  • Once you have finished working on your project for the day, save it as usual by pressing CMD + S. Then close AVID.
  • The latest version of your project has now been saved in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder as you assigned at the beginning of the process.

[NOTE!] Despite what the name ‘Shared’ may imply, this folder is individualized, or ‘local’, to each desktop computer. Your work will only appear in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder on the computer you are working on. If you go to another computer and open the same folder your project will not be there. This folder is not a cloud-based storage space.

  • With this information in mind, you need to save your project folder onto either your personal Student Drive or a personal hard drive at the end of your work session.
  • You must do this each time you finish a session in order to ensure you do not lose your work. As the lab computers are shared resources, you cannot rely on your project to remain safe in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder.
  • In order to Save your project onto your drive, open your Student Drive which should still be mounted on your Desktop. In the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder, right-click and press ‘Copy’ on your entire project folder.
  • Then, within your Student Drive, right click and select ‘Paste’. The same process applies if you are saving to a hard drive instead of your Student drive.
  • Be sure to save your entire AVID project folder, as you need the folder exactly as is in order to work on it in the future.

Reopening your Project Next Time

    • The next time you need to work on your project on a lab computer, you will need to bring your AVID Project folder back into the Shared Avid Projects folder. When you log into the lab computer, mount both your Student Drive and Sourcebook from Isilon, by pressing CMD + K and selecting the appropriate folders.
    • Once accessed, copy your project folder off of your Student Drive and back into the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder on the desktop.


  • You always want to work out of this folder instead of Isilon. Isilon has the possibility of crashing, which could cause you to lose your work if you are working straight from there. Working from the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder eliminates this possibility.


  • If an older copy of your project is already in the ‘Shared Avid Projects’ folder, be sure to replace the old copy in order to eliminate any confusion.
  • If you want to keep the older versions of your project, create a folder on your Student Drive labelled ‘Backups’. Label the older project folders by date and Save them in this folder.
  • This same process applies to working off of a hard drive.
  • It is always worth having a second backup location for your project files. Utilizing a hard drive (if that is not your primary backup location) or Google drive are both good options.


Things to Note:

  • Always backup your project on your Student Drive or on a personal hard drive. Never rely on your files being safe on a shared computer.
  • Never rearrange or pick and choose from your AVID project folder. AVID is very particular about file structure and this will corrupt your project. You should also never use finder to rename any of the folders/files created by Avid. 


Additional Resources:

Connecting to Isilon

Exporting from Avid

Intro to Avid

Intro to Avid - Lynda.com - A step by step tutorial site with exercise files showing the essentials of using Avid Media Composer.

Intro to Color Correction

Basic Color Correction in Avid

Need additional help?  See a lab assistant in room 810.  You can see the Lab Assistant schedule here.




Start a new project under Shared with the correct settings (check the ‘sourcebook index’ for this info)

Using Finder, locate the desired project in Sourcebook and right click/copy the .abv files

Using finder, open your project folder under ‘shared avid projects’ then right click/paste the .abv files

Open Avid and edit, but be sure to backup your project to your students drive when finished for the day.